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financemark
Member

Is Academic Fraud a violation of UW TOS?

I ask bc every time I chat with UW CS, I ask...and never recieve an answer.

 

 

14 REPLIES 14

It is, but it is often hard to get them to enforce it.

 

I just had this happen literally minutes ago, and reported it. Got the usual "can I see a screenshot" (no idea why I need to send screenshots of Upwork's own message rooms). The actual homework assignment that I was asked to do could not be uploaded to the chat room and the CS rep didn't seem to think it was important.

 

This is a big "hole" that has needed filling for some time. But at least in theory, yes, they do care about it.

And it just happened again. I got the boilerplate from CS about the "appropriate action" being taken. Meanwhile the job is still open, my connects aren't refunded, and the "client" will just keep interviewing people until he finds one willing to do his problem set for him.


@Charles K wrote:

It is, but it is often hard to get them to enforce it.

 

I just had this happen literally minutes ago, and reported it. Got the usual "can I see a screenshot" (no idea why I need to send screenshots of Upwork's own message rooms). The actual homework assignment that I was asked to do could not be uploaded to the chat room and the CS rep didn't seem to think it was important.

 

This is a big "hole" that has needed filling for some time. But at least in theory, yes, they do care about it.


 Always send a screenshot. Even if you are giving a direct link add a screenshot. Always write "I deleted cookies and cache, tried different browsers and retried in private mode" even if you are reporting a job offer. And always write "if you are not able to help me please forward this message to someone who can".

I did provide the screenshot (wasting another minute of my life for no reason.)

 

But the "clients" aren't stupid enough to say "hey can you do my homework for me?"

 

The message room had a document in it. I provided a link to a source online showing it was a college homework assignment. They asked for a meaningless screenshot and then ignored the actually relevant evidence.

 

This happens all the time, even though they have access to the message rooms and all the data they need to pull the project.

renata101
Member

Hi Mark,

 

I guess my response to the question is that it is and CS should really get some better protocols for dealing with it. A while back, I found a string of profiles that pretty clearly looked like a range of freelancers were doing people's homework for them. Really hard to get CS to act on this, and basically you have to almost put together a quasi-legal case in order for them to even look at it. I think mostly they pay lipservice to it. So it kind of depends how much time you really want to invest in it. It's usually an uphill battle.  Conversely, CS seems to sometimes immediately shut people down for doing next to nothing. 

I had someone send me a thesis chapter of an architectural dissertation around Christmas. It turned out that the entire chapter was lifted from a previously published PhD thesis. The instructions were to "rewrite" the chapter but to ""maintain the same ideas." I alerted one of the mods on the forum.  As far as I know, nothing happened.

Ironically, the freelancer who was eventually hired to do the work also appeared to have copied parts of her profile information from other people's online resumes.  So at least there's some potential poetic justice there because I can't imagine the quality of the finished product would have been great. I'm just pissed off that I can't report the client to whatever academic institution he's at.  But of course, UpWork doesn't demand that clients use their real names. 


And they close the ticket, still don't cancel the job, still don't refund the connects I spent applying for it. Nor those of at least 20 other people.

 

This is how Upwork repays us for doing a job they should be doing in the first place.

Hi Charles, 


I checked your ticket and can see that the Marketplace Quality team has communicated that actions have been taken against the job post and the client's account. You're still able to access the job post because you have a direct link to it. Once you clear your cache and cookies, the post will not be available.

 

I'm checking with the team about the connects to be refunded and will get back to you once I get more information. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Thank you Avery, the connects were finally refunded.

 

The CS team here on the forums is pretty uniformly helpful.

 

The CS team you get when you contact CS directly is... not pretty uniformly helpful. Let's just put it that way. Occasionally I do get some helpful folks. Mostly what I get is people reading me boilerplate off scripts and not listening to what I am saying.

 

I spent quite a bit of time flagging this job, only to have even more of it wasted on something that should have been routine. And it was like this a year ago too. Isn't it time for some improvement in this area?

I'm sorry this is how you feel, Charles. I've shared this thread with the team to highlight that reporting academic fraud is still a pain-point in the Community, and that it is something that can be improved on. 

Thank you for sharing yoru thoughts!


~ Avery
Upwork


@Charles K wrote:

The CS team you get when you contact CS directly is... not pretty uniformly helpful. Let's just put it that way. Occasionally I do get some helpful folks. Mostly what I get is people reading me boilerplate off scripts and not listening to what I am saying.



@Avery O wrote:

I'm sorry this is how you feel, Charles. I've shared this thread with the team to highlight that reporting academic fraud is still a pain-point in the Community, and that it is something that can be improved on. 

Thank you for sharing yoru thoughts!


Not JUST academic fraud, but also the issue of irrelevant cut-and-paste replies, by both CS and moderators in the Community. Canned replies are more frustrating than helpful, especially when they demonstrate a lack of attention to the specific concerns raised.


@Jess C wrote:

@Charles K wrote:

The CS team you get when you contact CS directly is... not pretty uniformly helpful. Let's just put it that way. Occasionally I do get some helpful folks. Mostly what I get is people reading me boilerplate off scripts and not listening to what I am saying.



@Avery O wrote:

I'm sorry this is how you feel, Charles. I've shared this thread with the team to highlight that reporting academic fraud is still a pain-point in the Community, and that it is something that can be improved on. 

Thank you for sharing yoru thoughts!


Not JUST academic fraud, but also the issue of irrelevant cut-and-paste replies, by both CS and moderators in the Community. Canned replies are more frustrating than helpful, especially when they demonstrate a lack of attention to the specific concerns raised.


Hi Jess,

I think the issue is actually broader than that. Canned replies actually generate a lot of deeper negative feelings towards UW among freelancers because of the repeated lack of attention to specific concerns raised.  

I'm not sure where companies first got the idea that scripted responses were a good thing. I guess it keeps communications within a certain accepted norm, but on the receiver end (people contacting CS with academic fraud issues), it generally shows us that either i) you're hiring people who don't have the capacity to go beyond scripted responses and therefore can't deal with more complex issues or ii) you're not encouraging people to take initiative and you're not equipping them with the tools  to actually think their way through the problems that are presented to them. The third issue might be that there still aren't any decent protocols for dealing with this. 

I also suspect that the academic fraud problem does not present itself as a significant monetary issue for UW --  it's more of a soft issue related to integrity and professional practice -- or else we might have seen it cleaned up a lot faster.  It is a significant issue for the image of UW as a platform for professional freelancers, but I don't think that's taken seriously.  

 Wow - I read this thread earlier and thought it was incredibly insightful. I actually mentioned it in another thread, although my post seems to have "disappeared." 

 

Jess and Renata, you are absolutely right that the scripted responses make freelancers feel as though they are not being listened to. I just had a situation where the scripted responses from a CS agent were so vague and unclear that she apparently misunderstood my reply as permission to go ahead and cancel a contract. The CS agent requested screenshots - I sent them and somehow that got misinterpreted (protocol?) as cancel the contract. Needless to say the client was alerted that UpWork canceled the contract, requested a refund (well technically made an additional payment with the memo of refund, which I took to clearly be a request for a refund) and I felt obligated to refund the client for the project as he now knows that I reported him to CS and that would make bad feedback 10X worse. Now I have a negative account balance, a pissed off client who is obviously going to leave negative (albeit, private) feedback, and am down $100, while the client walks away with an almost complete PPT made by someone with multiple graduate degrees whom he got away with paying a dollar for it. It seems like a very good incentive for him to go around and do the same thing again. 

 

This is so frustrating!! 


@Chelsea F wrote:

 Wow - I read this thread earlier and thought it was incredibly insightful. I actually mentioned it in another thread, although my post seems to have "disappeared." 

 

Jess and Renata, you are absolutely right that the scripted responses make freelancers feel as though they are not being listened to. I just had a situation where the scripted responses from a CS agent were so vague and unclear that she apparently misunderstood my reply as permission to go ahead and cancel a contract. The CS agent requested screenshots - I sent them and somehow that got misinterpreted (protocol?) as cancel the contract. Needless to say the client was alerted that UpWork canceled the contract, requested a refund (well technically made an additional payment with the memo of refund, which I took to clearly be a request for a refund) and I felt obligated to refund the client for the project as he now knows that I reported him to CS and that would make bad feedback 10X worse. Now I have a negative account balance, a pissed off client who is obviously going to leave negative (albeit, private) feedback, and am down $100, while the client walks away with an almost complete PPT made by someone with multiple graduate degrees whom he got away with paying a dollar for it. It seems like a very good incentive for him to go around and do the same thing again. 

 

This is so frustrating!! 


 "Frustrating" does not even begin to describe stuff like this...


@Chelsea F wrote:

I just had a situation where the scripted responses from a CS agent were so vague and unclear that she apparently misunderstood my reply as permission to go ahead and cancel a contract. The CS agent requested screenshots - I sent them and somehow that got misinterpreted (protocol?) as cancel the contract. Needless to say the client was alerted that UpWork canceled the contract, requested a refund (well technically made an additional payment with the memo of refund, which I took to clearly be a request for a refund) and I felt obligated to refund the client for the project as he now knows that I reported him to CS and that would make bad feedback 10X worse. Now I have a negative account balance, a pissed off client who is obviously going to leave negative (albeit, private) feedback, and am down $100, while the client walks away with an almost complete PPT made by someone with multiple graduate degrees whom he got away with paying a dollar for it. It seems like a very good incentive for him to go around and do the same thing again.


Hang in there. Once the aggravation wears off, this will make a great campfire story with which to one-up your friends!

 

"Oh yeah ... Let me tell you about this one time on Upwork ..."

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